At the hostel I'm staying at, I met a young Argentinian who's been living in Barcelona for the last ten years.

How has Spain been? Big difference from Argentina?
Yes, it is much freer in Spain. In Argentina, you smoke (pot) in public and they will lock you up. In Barcelona, you can smoke and it is no problem?
No problem whatsoever?
The cops, they are fat and stupid, you see them, you put it out. If they do catch you, you pay 300 Euros and you're free.
Not like here in Singapore...
No, but that can be good. I like it here in Singapore, I don't drink so much, I don't smoke so much. It's better for my body.
What did you do for work in Spain?
I am a tattoo artist. I have a shop with my brother in Barcelona.
Wow. Tattoos? How long have you been tattooing?
Ten years.
(girlfriend arrives, conversation goes all Spanish...)

I love ephemeral conversations. I wish I'd have more of them, but it's not so much a thing you wish for as a thing you do. I've been getting some Spanish practice con mis vecinas which has been good. It's more difficult w/ their Columbian relatives though because they speak no English and I end up stuttering my way through a lack of grammar & vocab. Oh, and I've been picking up some Mexican slang from the blog you told me about. I haven't had a chance to use it yet though for some reason... - Cal

Re: language acquisition, hammer on the nouns, verbs, and tenses. Forget everything else for a while. You say "train station close where?" and people understand. You say "Hello, can you help me find the place with the long metal things which go w00w00?" and that just makes people look at you funny. For brownie points, learn the short prompt words (unfortunately, i see, really?, that sucks, that rocks) so you can feed them to people and they will talk more so you can get context from the occasional word you understand. --Patrick